MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Foosaner Art Museum, Florida Institute of Technology, presents “InCiteful Clay” Jan. 25 to March 16, a nationally traveling exhibition which offers an overview of an emergent movement in contemporary ceramics dedicated to social commentary.
“InCiteful Clay” incorporates a broad range of work, including a selection of 26 ceramics from artists who have used an age-old medium to issue provocative critiques of current social and political inequities. The premise of the exhibition is organized around five themes: war and politics; the social and human condition; gender issues; environmental concerns; and popular and material culture. The artists have conveyed their messages in styles that are aggressive, disturbing, irreverent, and at times, humorous, but always passionate. They rely on figurative imagery, narrative content, and a range of expressive avenues. Featured artists in “InCiteful Clay” include Akio Takamori, Toby Buonagurio, Nuala Creed, Michelle Erickson, Anne Potter, Ehren Tool, Richard Shaw, and Paula Winokur.
Artists have long used their creations as powerful vehicles to confront society with the major problems of the day. Traditionally ceramics have served functional and decorative purposes and have been associated with benign experiences. Visitors to this exhibition will be exposed to the expressive capabilities of clay media to convey substantive content and to deliver the powerful critiques more routinely seen in painting and sculpture.
Programs related to the exhibition include “Mythical Animals,” a ceramics workshop with Cheryl Tall, Jan. 24 and 25 (cost $250; registration required); “InCiteful Clay: The Artist Provocateur,” a free lecture, Feb. 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Harris Community Auditorium; and “Visceral Beauty,” a free lecture by Bonnie Seeman, March 6 at 6 p.m. followed by a March 7 demonstration (cost $50; registration required). Register online at www.foosanerartmuseum.org or by calling (321) 674-8923.
In other Foosaner Art Museum news, the award winning film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry will be screened March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Harris Community Auditorium. A post-film discussion, led by Wanfa Zhang, Florida Tech assistant professor, School of Arts and Communication, will follow. The cost is $5.
The Foosaner Art Museum is located at 1463 Highland Ave. in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children, seniors and students with ID; admission is free on Thursdays and always for Florida Tech faculty, staff and students with their ID. Call (321) 674-8916, or visit www.foosanerartmuseum.org for more information.
“InCiteful Clay” is curated by Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D., professor and director of craft media in the Department of Art and Art Professions at New York University. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), which sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 communities across the country every year. M-AAA is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.
Image credits: Adrianne Crane, Artillery Field, 2005. Slipcast and glazed ceramic, each flower, 10 x 10 x 10 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Bonnie Seeman, Untitled Bowl, 2005. Porcelain and glass, 11 x 10 ½ x 6 ½ inches.
Courtesy of the artist.